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Berlin Family Break

This October half term we decided to opt for a city break in Europe rather than faraway sunshine.

Friends and family members raved about Berlin, so both my sister’s family (which included my 1 year old nephew!) and my family, (7 year old daughter and 11 year old son), decided to see if the art and culture of Germany’s capital could keep the kids entertained.

We set off on our four night stay on a Sunday with a quick flight from Manchester.

On arrival we visited the tourist information office and were surprised to find that all travel for under 15’s is free. We decided to purchase a five day welcome pass costing €41 each per adult (with up to 3 children traveling free) and this also included a map and book with information about the city (including discounts!).

The apartment was a little far from the airport but very straightforward to get to via train and then the underground. We were a little concerned about our luggage, the children and pram but really didn’t need to be as the efficient transport system meant tons of space for all these things.

After travelling we stayed in our gorgeous apartment the first evening and decided on an early dinner and night for the kids so that we could make the most of the next three days.

As we were staying in the Mitte area of the city it was very family friendly and close to many of the attractions.

Our first full day was spent at Berlin Zoo. We had debated whether to visit it because we have seen so many zoos in the UK but the kids love animals and the zoo had so much history (having opened in 1844), we decided it was a must.

So many beautiful animals in this amazing family friendly place that we’d never come across, especially the amazing Pandas! All thriving in habitats created to look like their natural environment.

We realised we had to see a few things a day if we were going to cover even a little of Berlin. So the second day of our trip we visited one of Germany’s most famous landmarks the Brandenburg Gate.

We also saw the Reichstag building and Charlottenburg Palace. The kids loved seeing these historical huge buildings just as much as we did.

For our final day we decided to visit Museum Island and of course Berlin Cathedral. It was spectacular to see nestled between all the museums.

As our daughter is studying ancient Egypt we decided to pay (adults only €14) to enter the The Neues Museum so see the bust of Nefertiti and other ancient Egyptian artefacts, truly mesmerising.

City breaks might be a little more challenging with children in tow but they are such confidence builders. The way the children were navigating the transport, trying to learn the language and research the places we visited was such a joy to watch.

The thing that amazed us all and a huge factor in visiting again is the people. They truly were some of the most friendliest and helpful individuals we’ve met on our travels. Be it helping my sister with the pram or walking over when seeing you reading a map. All the interaction made our trip that much more special.

Auf Wiedersehen Berlin

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors review

My kids are huge fans of Horrible Histories.

So when we heard that there wasn’t just one show but two shows coming to Preston, we couldn’t wait to go and watch them.

My two have seen all the TV series (some episodes repeatedly!) and we also went to see Groovy Greeks in Manchester and Barmy Britain in London.

As guests of the charter theatre we went to see Terrible Tudors on its first night at the Guild Hall.

At first, it felt like we were at a history lesson. Don’t get me wrong, I love this aspect of the show, the fact that the kids are learning without quite realizing how much they’re taking in. But the pace to begin with could have been a little quicker.

This soon changed, the three actors on stage brought in a element of audience participation which was a big hit with the kids.

They then broke in to funny songs which kept us entertained and educated!

Legends were brought to life and we heard all about the torturing, terrible Tudors!

So much was covered in the production, we head all about Evil Elizabeth, Bloody Mary and of course Henry and his wives!

My daughter is going to cover the Tudors this year at school so I was even more pleased that she had a little head start! (pun intended!).

The second half was the kids favourite where they got to wear their 3D glasses and the past was a little more dramatic with special effects they weren’t expecting!

We had a great evening and are really looking forward to catching the second show all about the Egyptians.

Both TERRIBLE TUDORS and AWFUL EGYPTIANS are showing at Preston Guild Hall until Saturday 17th November

Tickets are limited and start from £17.50, call the box office on: 01772804444

Halloween events Preston

I think most children in England get one week off for October half term but we get two. That’s a lot of time to fill!

Last year we were in Berlin over Halloween but there is so much to do locally that I had to share!

See what’s on in Preston over the Halloween period:

22nd October 2018 – Wizards ‘wear your wellies’ walk at Huntleys https://www.facebook.com/events/296513681171930/?ti=ia

22nd – 31st October
Pumpkin Carving at Brockholes Nature Reserve
https://m.facebook.com/events/1338997056231332/?ti=ia

26th, 27th & 28th October – Pumpkin Carving at Huntleys https://m.facebook.com/events/274972209795487/?ti=ia

27th October -Halloween Party 2018 at Clip n Climb Preston https://m.facebook.com/events/2082552768726177/?ti=ia

27th October -Spooky Halloween Parade at St George’s Shopping Centre
https://m.facebook.com/events/2356320894409295/?ti=ia

28th October – Uncle Guy’s “Not so Scary” Halloween Party at Guy’s Thatched Hamlet
https://m.facebook.com/events/1800850970034051/?ti=ia

30th, 31st October – Halloween Party at Rascals Play Centre https://m.facebook.com/events/271026803544180/?ti=ia

31st October – Janey’s Witchy Walkthrough at Samlesbury Hall https://m.facebook.com/events/2174806326177417/?ti=ia

31st October – Halloween Ghost Tour at Hoghton Tower https://m.facebook.com/events/292424301568324/?ti=ia

Further afield..

Not exactly Preston but we adore this place so have to give it a mention.

13th – 31st October – Halloween & Pumpkin Picking at Thornton Hall Country Park

https://m.facebook.com/events/2287631458124423/?ti=ia

Anything we’ve missed? If you’d like your event featured in our Halloween event guide then please email:

tripupsandtripsout@gmail.com

Martin Mere Lego Animal Trail

On a gorgeous sunny day we made our second trip to Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

The first time we visited was about four years ago and the kids had a wonderful time even then.

This time however, we had the added excitement of the fabulous Lego creatures.

Upon arrival we were given a map to let us know where we could find the 14 Lego animals.

Our lack of co-ordination meant we didn’t take any notice of the map and just set off so we could see the amazing wildlife as we went along.

The giant Lego brick animals are hugely impressive. Each animal’s real counterpart can also be found at the centre so the kids loved the real and fake aspect of the trail.

The information about how many bricks it took to create and how much time it took to create each one will leave you very disappointed with your own Lego creations!

In total 253,728 LEGO bricks were used to make all 14 wetland characters.

Your admission ticket includes the price of the Lego trail so you don’t have to pay extra. Which means, if you’ve been considering a visit to the centre, it’s well worth doing it while the Lego animals are on site.

It wasn’t all about the Lego for us though. The kids favourite part was when they got to touch ducklings as they swam up to them, far too cute!

The amount of species at WWT Martin Mere ensures a lovely long day out. Buying a bag of grain on our way in meant lots of ducks and geese to feed.

The flamingos and trumpet swans were amazing and seeing the Storks being fed was a great experience too.

I have to mention the stepping stones as something so simple is always so popular with all the kids.

For an extra cost you can also do a boat safari but to be honest we were having that much fun elsewhere, that we didn’t end up doing this.

We did however spend lots of time in the adventure playground with our ice-creams!

A fantastic day out and on our way home the kids were already making plans as to what they’d do upon their return.

The Lego trail is on until Sunday 24 June, more information can be found on the link below:

https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/martin-mere/whats-on/2018/05/09/amazing-giant-brickanimal-trail/

February half term events in Lancashire

If you’re planning your Feb half term week, there are some fantastic events happening in the region, take a look below:

Ice Week returns to Guy’s

8th – 18th February 2018

Guy’s Thatched Hamlet

St. Michael’s Road, Bilsborrow, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 0RS

Kids eat free after skating (T&C apply).

45 minute skate is £6 including skate hire.

http://www.guysthatchedhamlet.co.uk/

Feb half term Xplorer challenge

10 Feb – 17 Feb

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0AG

Map packs are £3.00 and include a map (either challenge 1 or challenge 2), an answer sheet, a Brockholes pencil and on completion, a certificate, sticker and a sweet treat!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2050907938524161??ti=ia

Half Term Family Crafts

12 Feb – 16 Feb

Hoghton Tower, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0SH

This event is FREE but each individual craft ranges from 50p to £3.

Each day will run from 10am – 2pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/136991893662273??ti=ia

Forest Camp

14 Feb

Cuerden Valley Park, The Barn, Berkeley Drive, Bamber Bridge, PR5 6BY

PR5 6BY Preston, Lancashire

Playing games, making dens and shelters, having a camp fire with tasty treats, exploring the wonderful nature in the Park and making things out of wood and other natural materials.

£20 per child, per day, 10am-3pm, ages 5-11

https://www.facebook.com/events/1799632850081650??ti=ia

The Jungle Book

16 Feb, 14.30

Preston Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT

Filled with catchy music, a laugh-out-loud script, audience interaction, and the chance to meet the characters after the show, you are invited to join Mowgli and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther on a madcap adventure in the jungle as they meet and attempt to outwit a slithering snake, some cheeky monkeys and the fierce tiger, Shere Khan!

https://www.facebook.com/events/366372660455257??ti=ia

Witchcraft & Wizardry Trail

17 February

Old Holly Farm, Cabus Nook Lane, Cabus

PR3 1AA Preston, Lancashire

After the sell out in October, we’re proud to announce that Just Imagine North West are back this February half term with another Witchcraft & Wizardry Trail here at the farm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/137433370260256??ti=ia

Awful Auntie Review

Having seen Gangsta Granny not long ago at Preston Guild Hall, we were very excited when they invited us to see Awful Auntie.

My son is a huge David Walliams fan and has read all of his books. In fact, we went to see him recently in Manchester where he talked about his career, books and inspiration.

My daughter and I hadn’t read the book so weren’t sure what to expect and my son was keen not to spoil it for us.

Awful Auntie marks the Birmingham Stage Company’s 25th anniversary and as with Gangsta Granny they’ve ensured that Walliams’ work is brought to life.

The story is about 12 year old Stella who wakes from a three month coma, only to find that she’s now an orphan.

She starts to quickly suspect that both her parents were murdered and didn’t die in an accident as she was led to believe. But why did her only living relative Aunt Alberta lie to her? Could it be that her awful auntie was responsible for her mother and father’s death?

When asked What or who inspired Awful Auntie? Walliams’ replied:

It may not be the answer you were expecting but I am obsessed with the film ‘The Shining’. I wanted to create a horror story where a child was trapped in a house with a dangerous relative, cut off from the outside world. As for the character herself I had a lot of fun creating Aunt Alberta. Villains are always so much more fun than heroes. I wanted her to be funny as much as scary, which is something my literary hero Roald Dahl always did so brilliantly.

None of the children in the audience would have recognised the infamous scene from The Shining (at least I hope they didn’t!) but some of the scenes from the show pay tribute perfectly!

The parallels to Roald Dahl are also very much apparent, in fact I thought of the villains in his books many times while watching Awful Auntie.

Although the show is recommended for five year olds and older, I did find a lot of the scenes intense and a little dark!

I checked on my seven year old a few times because but she wasn’t affected and really enjoyed herself.

Wonderful moving sets, a great cast and moving story ensured that we had a fantastic night. Awful Auntie is on at the Preston Guild Hall from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st January

https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/david-walliams-awful-auntie/

Lancashire events January 2018

After the festive period is over, surely it’s time to relax? Plus, there’s never really anything going on this month, right?

Wrong! Plenty still going on in our wonderful county.

Find out what’s on in Lancashire during January 2018 below:

Snow White Pantomime
The Muni, Albert Road, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0AE
6 Jan 2018 – 21 Jan 2018
https://www.themuni.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-at-the-muni/p-147-snow-white/

Snow Queen Pantomime
Burnley Mechanics Theatre, Manchester Road, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 1BH
12 Jan – 21 Jan
https://burnleymechanics.ticketsolve.com/shows/873578055/events/128287888

Harris Open: Have a creative New Year!
Harris Museum, Market Square, PR1 2PP Preston, Lancashire
Saturday 13 January
https://m.facebook.com/events/1999503466994394

Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE
Saturday 13 January
https://dukes-lancaster.org/?event=red-riding-hood-wolf

Bird feeder making
Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0AG
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 January http://brockholes.skiddletickets.com/event.php?id=13113218

Awful Auntie
Preston Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT
Thursday 18 until Sunday 21 January
https://prestonguildhall.co.uk/shows/david-walliams-awful-auntie/

Audition For Murder – Murder Mystery
Hoghton Tower, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0SH
19 Jan 2018
https://hoghtontower.digitickets.co.uk/category/12196

BBC Flog It Comes To Blackburn!
Blackburn Cathedral, Cathedral Close, Blakburn, Lancashire, BB1 5AA
25 Jan 2018
http://www.blackburncathedral.com/blog/2017/11/14/flog-popular-bbc-one-antiques-series-coming-blackburn/

The Nutcracker
Thwaites Empire Theatre, Aqueduct Road Ewood, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 4HT
28 Jan 2018
http://www.thwaitesempiretheatre.co.uk/event/the-nutcracker/

Have a great month whatever you decide to do!

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo Review

When your children start to get older it becomes increasingly difficult to find ways in which to keep the magic of Christmas alive.

So when we were invited to see The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, we were intrigued to see what the evening would entail.

Even setting off to the venue in the dark brought along its own excitement as the children are use to attending outdoor events during the day.

We were booked on to the 530 slot and the first thing we saw were two elves dressed in uniform informing us of what to expect. The acting was great and while the kids enjoyed the interactive elements I couldn’t take my eyes off their pointy ears!

We were to follow the trail of (pretend!) animals, who each had written a giant letter to Santa informing him of what they’d like for Christmas.

The children were each given a small lantern (which they got to keep) and we were also given a larger light per party to return at the end.

The zoo was lit up and looking magical in the dark with fairy lights and the wonderful animal lanterns guiding us.

We were very lucky with the mild and dry weather which made our walk even more enjoyable.

If you’ve been to any events by Wild Rumpus before, then you’ll know they often incorporate a circus theme. This was no different, as actors hung on trapezes pretending to be gibbons and we saw roller skating flamingoes!

The walk doesn’t take very long it depends on how fast or slow you would like to go, we did it in about an hour and a half but throughly enjoyed the experience.

The children loved walking in the dark (it made them feel very grown up!) and as we are a family who love theatre, especially outdoor theatre, they really enjoyed watching the performances, in fact if there was any criticism, it was that they wanted more of that interactivity as we walked around.

The walk culminates with a fantastically realistic Santa who waves at the children as we pass along. We certainly managed to find a unique event that reminded the children of the magic of Christmas!

The event continues until December 30. To book or find out more, visit the link below:

http://www.www.chesterzoo.org/whats-happening/christmas/the-lanterns